Curiosity is one of the critical factors in a business that is agile and innovative, so it is an element that is important to explore....
Most teams take a reactive approach to conflict by trying to improve team members’ capabilities to respond to clashes. These approaches often allow frustrations to build up for too long, making it difficult to reset negative impressions.
But what if you tried to immunize colleagues against the negative impact of differences at a very early stage in the team’s existence? The skills needed to facilitate such proactive discussions are far easier to master than those required for conflict resolution.
A simple tool can help structure open conversations around five domains – along with five sets of questions designed to surface key differences that disrupt team functioning. The approach empowers managers to facilitate team discussions before the differences between colleagues have had a chance to trigger strong emotions or animosity.
This is the final instalment in our five-part series on preventing team conflict. We have looked at questioning our assumptions about others based on their appearance, behaviors, communication and cognitive styles. So what could be left to explore? The all-pervasive issue of emotions.
Team members will differ widely in terms of the intensity of their feelings, how they convey passion in a group, and the way they manage their emotions in the face of disagreement.
Not being conscious of these differences can fuel all sorts of fires. For instance, an extroverted CMO at a logistics company we worked with assumed that the more passion she showed for her ideas, the more responsive the group would be to them. But her “rah-rah” approach was too much for the introverted, pragmatic CEO.
Ask your team to respond to these questions:
Remember to ask yourself, too.
This is a sensitive area and early discussions should touch on not only the risks of venting but also the danger of bottling things up.
Remember, the benefits of anticipating and heading off conflict before it becomes destructive are immense. We’ve found that they include greater participation, improved creativity, and smarter decision making. We were delighted by this feedback from one manager: “We still disagree, but there’s less bad blood and a genuine sense of valuing each other’s contributions.”
We hope you have enjoyed this series and invite you to make Comments below.
The Emotionally Intelligent Manager by David R. Caruso and Peter Salovey
It is important for executives to understand that emotions allow them to put things in context and have a larger view of what is happening. It also helps build valuable connections with...
As leaders we train ourselves in many ways, but it is often the small, overlooked skills, like resilience, that will serve us best....
To take your leadership skills to the next level, try improving your communication skills, especially with competitors....
You have 4 of 5 articles left to read.